(ORDO NEWS) — On May 28, satellites recorded an unusual cloud over the Caspian Sea, which NASA called “special”. It provides an interesting example of how satellites can detect such phenomena in the Earth‘s atmosphere.
The scientists used the Terra satellite to observe the cloud as it moved toward the ground and then dissipated.
This was supposed to help them learn more about how small stratocumulus clouds take on a similar shape.
Stratocumulus clouds usually form at a low altitude above the earth’s surface. The same cloud was recorded at an altitude of 1500 meters.
But what else distinguished this cloud from others was a clear boundary that could be seen on satellite images.
“Sharp edges often form when dry, warm air coming from land collides with colder, moist air over the ocean, and a cloud forms at that boundary,” said Bastian van Diedenhoven, an atmospheric scientist at the Netherlands Institute for Space Research SRON.
The appearance of such a cloud in this region, and not over the ocean, is unusual. However, it can be explained by the presence of the Caspian Sea, the world’s largest inland water body.
According to Didhoven, the cloud formed when warmer, drier air from the Balkans met colder, wetter air over the Caspian Sea.
The cloud began to dissipate a few hours after it was recorded by the satellite.
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